Monday, 23 September 2013

This week: planning packed lunches

For the first two weeks of school my son has been there just for the mornings. This week, they stay a bit longer, having lunch there and the following week he will begin full days. We have the option of packed lunches or school dinners. I asked my son which he would prefer and he said he would like to have packed lunches. I was secretly pleased, as I feel that way I will at least know what he is eating and can ensure he has healthy, tasty lunches. The school dinners in fairness look pretty good and varied. My main issue is the puddings...I would never give him such rich, sweet desserts on a daily basis!

Back to the packed lunches! I've been giving them some thought. There are some great blogs and websites out there devoted to the packed lunch and ideas aplenty. My son loves his sandwiches but I want to try to give some variety and I am sure some things will go down better than others. The school specifies we are not to give any sweets, crisps, cake and there is a no-nut policy. My plan for now is to mix and match from the following basic ideas:

Main item
Savoury muffins, flapjacks
Thick tortilla-like omelette/frittata
Savoury pancakes / fritters (sweetcorn/potato/courgette)
Pasta/rice/quinoa salad
Mini pie (need to think of options that taste good cold, such as cheese and potato)

Savoury extras
Carrot/cucumber sticks/pepper/sugar snap peas/cherry tomatoes etc
Cheese scone

Dessert / pudding
Homemade cereal/granola bar
Fruit scone
Dropped scones / mini pancakes (plain/blueberry/banana etc)

The above is by no means an exhaustive list but some ideas I have to get started. I have bought some small cool/ice packs and will pop one in my son's lunchbox. This was a suggestion from some other mums who said that the classrooms are kept so warm (during the winter especially) that it's a good idea to have one for keeping cheese/yoghurt etc fresher. I intend on preparing the lunches the night before as much as possible to cut down on added stress in the mornings and to give me plenty of time for getting it ready.

Do you make packed lunches for your children or have you in the past? Any tips you can share or additional ideas of lunchbox favourites?
photo credit


  1. This is a great list. Carson is in school 2 days per week now and I needed some lunch ideas. Thank you!

    1. That's very kind of you to say, thank you! Glad it is useful :-).

  2. I still pack my son's lunch every day and he's 16. :)
    A sandwich, a granola bar, fruit, and some homemade something. Apple cake, banana bread, etc. Also, as he's older, he sometimes takes a thermos with soup or last night's leftovers.

    1. Lovely that your son still enjoys a packed lunch! Sounds like a nice combination of foods and the soup or leftovers in a thermos is ideal for the colder temps.

  3. Can you please make my packed lunch too? :D

    I am dreading the packed lunch/school dinner choice as, like you, I want the control, but on the other hand my daughter is back to 'butter (Vitalite) sandwiches, mum!' as she will have nothing in them. Nightmare! She had a brief tuna spell - which you obviously don't want to give them everyday, but now - nothing. Bleh. Kids. So difficult!

    The ice packs are great though - we use them (when I remember) ;) xx

    1. Ha ha! Yes ,it is a difficult decision. Some people choose packed lunch because their children are fussy eaters so they know they can give them food they will actually eat. Others choose school dinners for their fussy eaters with the thinking that they will be influenced by their peers and it will make them try more varied foods.

      Hopefully by the time you need to make the decision for your daughter she will have changed again eating-wise and you will know what will suit her best :-). xx


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